What is “happy”? What does it really mean to feel happy? This is a question that I have been pondering during the more recent life transitions that my family and I have been going through. I am someone that is programmed for stress. I am a worrier, and in all honesty, I thrive in stressful situations. I am a problem solver, a “do-er”, and basically don’t like to sit and be still. But, in my head, the best time to be happy was when I was being still. I’ve always thought of “happy” as the time when the to-do list is complete, things have been accomplished, and I could blissfully look at a day with nothing scheduled and no obligations. However, my life rarely lines up in this way. Does that mean I am not happy?
I know, this is a tad bit deeper than most of my blog posts go, but I just wanted to set the stage for what was on my mind as I began my most recent art journal entry. I wanted to ponder happy, to manipulate and layer bright colors, and put on the page some of the contradiction I was feeling in my own life. That is what art journaling is about. Taking all the feelings, emotions, and thought from inside of you and getting them out. Some of the thoughts dive deeper than others, but all are valid expressions of what is going on in our heads!
You can check out my process video for this art journal entry over on my YouTube channel:
This page began with layers upon layers of beautiful background pieces. I utilized a vintage book page, colorful tissue paper and napkins to cover every inch of my double page spread. Using Liquitex Matte Gel medium, I layered the background pieces and enjoyed the contrast of the faded book page against the bright rainbow quality of the other pieces. However, when I was done, even I knew that it was a bit too bright to effectively add anything else to the layout. So, I grabbed some Dylusions white paint, thinned it out with a bit of water, and did kind of a white-wash over my whole layout. This effectively toned down the color and gave me a nice background up which to build up even more layers.
Next, I chose to use a set of Dina Wakely stamps with a grunge heart motif to them to bring pops of pink and blue to the page. The hearts helped bring focus to the large cut-outs of vintage women that I planned on adhering. The other thing that anchored these cutouts to the page was a cluster of black and white florals. One of my favorite elements to use in all kinds of art projects are black and white florals that I have fussy cut from scrapbook paper. I keep a box near my desk that I can grab for at any time!
After adhering the floral pieces and the vintage girls, the page was nearly done. I added the title “Happy is…here & now” using the Elemental Alpha set from By the Well 4 God. I opted to use black Archival ink, knowing that I planned to stamp on top of many layers of matte gel medium and paint. To finish off the entry, I wrote several pairs of words that seemed to be opposites of each other, but to me represented different opportunities to look for happiness.
This art journal entry certainly made me happy! I so loved the bright colors and the whole process of filling these pages. And the time spent reflecting on happiness really has made me look at how I am approaching my every day. I hope you find moments of happiness in all kinds of corners of your day today!
Keep it creative,
-The Scrappy Wife